EU’s foreign policy chief urges Serbia, Kosovo to engage in dialogue

The EU's foreign policy chief urged Serbia and Kosovo on Tuesday to engage in dialogue aimed at diplomatic normalization.

Josep Borrell's remarks came ahead of a summit between Western Balkan and EU leaders that began in the Albanian capital Tirana.

"This is an important moment ... Now, they have to engage. They have to really engage in the dialogue with the proposal that I put on the table as facilitator (of Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue), with the strong support of Germany and France," said Borrell.

Noting that the latest proposal on normalization had been sent to the two countries, he said that now, they had to embark on "serious discussions because this is a moment in which there is a big opportunity."

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states, including the US, UK, France, Germany and Türkiye, recognizing it as a separate autonomous country from its neighbor which continues to regard it as its territory.

Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo had risen since ethnic Serbs in Kosovo withdrew from all central and local institutions in protest over Pristina's decision to replace old vehicle license plates issued by Serbian authorities with those from Kosovo.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in early October that Germany and France had offered to expedite Serbia's EU membership process if the Belgrade recognized Pristina's independence.

Brussels has been working to facilitate Serbia-Kosovo dialogue, designed to ease tensions and resolve bilateral issues, which are a requirement for full-fledged EU membership.

In an EU-brokered agreement late last month, the two nations agreed to avoid further escalation over the dispute involving car license plates and to "fully concentrate on the proposal on normalization of their relations."

Source: Anadolu Agency